Review: Play Dirty
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
From the cover:
After five long years in federal prison, Griff Burkett is a free man. But the disgraced Cowboys quarterback can never return to life as he knew it before he was caught cheating. In a place where football is practically a religion, Griff committed a cardinal sin, and no one is forgiving.
Foster Speakman, owner and CEO of SunSouth Airlines, and his wife, Laura, are a golden couple. Successful and wealthy, they lived a charmed life before fate cruelly intervened and denied them the one thing they wanted most – a child. It’s said that money can’t buy everything. But it can buy a disgraced football player fresh out of prison and out of prospects.
The job Griff agrees to do for the Speakmans demands secrecy. But he soon finds himself once again in the spotlight of suspicion. An unsolved murder comes back to haunt him in the form of his nemesis, Stanley Rodarte, who has made Griff’s destruction his life’s mission. While safeguarding his new enterprise, Griff must also protect those around him, especially Laura Speakman, from Rodarte’s ruthlessness. Griff stands to gain the highest payoff he could ever imagine, but cashing in on it will require him to forfeit his only chance for redemption…and love.
Griff is now playing a high-stakes game, and at the final whistle, one player will be dead.
I found this book in the mystery section of my library book sale so I thought I was getting myself another typical murder mystery crime novel. At the time, I didn’t realize that Sandra Brown writes romance/romantic suspense novels so not only is this my first Sandra Brown book, but it’s also the first time I read a book from that genre.
I went through every emotion possible while reading this book. Some parts I loved, some parts I hated, some parts were outright ridiculous while other parts were suspenseful, and some parts made me feel like I was reading porn.
She has a tendency to use a lot of flashbacks, which I thought would slow down the plot, but it actually helped with character development and I actually enjoyed the brief glimpses we got from Griff’s past. Griff tries to portray himself as a loner with a bad attitude, but the more you read about his past, the more you realize that he’s actually a decent person. He made a few wrong decisions and he knows he committed a terrible crime, but at the same time he’s paid the price for it and he’s hoping that he could somehow redeem himself and gain back the respect that he lost. He was a complex character and Brown was able to add flesh to his character and fully develop him.
On the other hand, Laura’s character was extremely flat and two-dimensional. That’s one of the reasons why I found it a little difficult to believe that the two of them were in love. Their relationship seemed a little forced and it was farfetched to believe that they fell madly in love with one another after a few brief encounters.
I did enjoy her writing style and I can see why she has so many fans because of it. With that said, there are definitely some parts that were so corny I had to laugh out loud and there were some parts that were so bad it was good.
I’m not sure if I would pick up another book from this genre though. It was definitely an entertaining read, but I like my mystery books to deal more with the crime and gathering of evidence and figuring out who did it. I leave my romance cravings to chick lit rather than books that are strictly just romance, but that’s just me.